Melody Maker, February 20, 1988

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Melody Maker


The Courier

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Jonh Wilde

You will all form a lumpy pyramid in your haste to buy this record because it features eight titles by a certain Declan MacManus which, around this time of year, is the closest thing to a large earthquake we can expect from pop. I guarantee you will all feel, after one humiliated listen, a lot like the Belgian fella who once bought a large pork sausage from Dewhurst's thinking it was the Leaning Tower of Pisa (true story, mate).

It all comes from the forthcoming film starring, among others, the estimable ex-Pogue and current Mrs Costello, Cait O'Riordan. Okay, fine. I'm sure it's a proper ol' hoot. This is a record, though. Something else entirely. A very different kettle of herring.

Side one, is almost entirely given over to the argument that Irish rock music is in a dog of a mess. Something Happens, Aslan, Too Much For The White Man and Cry Before Dawn all ably demonstrate how to imitate a dung beetle by turning the guitars up a wee bit and pretending to be the daft one out of U2.

Ten years ago, it would have been the daft one out of Thin Lizzy. Ten years before that, they would been squeezing into quaint frocks, hoping to pass themselves off as the nice lass that sang "All Kinds Of Everything" in the Eurovision Song Contest (Dana, you fanny – Ed). Lord John White manages a halfway decent forgery of Lloyd Cole/ Deacon Blue/ The Explorers, but I can think of one million things that are more worthy of half-inching. Hothouse Flowers are a fraction underpar on "Wild White Horse" but, as ever, they are just swarthy and windswept enough, their rockist excesses tucked in the belts for now.

Side two brings us the Big Guns. Ho bloody ho. U2's "Walk To The Water" features the holy Bono doing his Telly Savalas talking bit and snaps like cheap elastic before you know it. As Costello/MacManus looms up, you're hoping he'll slip in the odd deft pearl. Maybe a couple of those half-ideas that fill up the holes on most of his LPs. Nothing of the sort though. Innocuous instrumentals, the kind you wouldn't notice in the film even if there was a 18-stone bloke in a string vest wandering about waving a flag advertising the fact that it was COMING UP NOW. Apart from the one at the end that sounds like it might be influenced by Haydn or one of those Austrian classical chappies, it's like a typing-pool and a building-site slogging it out on a muddy day in November. You're not the least bit interested now, are you?

Tags: The Courier: Original Motion Picture SoundtrackDeclan MacManusThe PoguesCait O'RiordanU2BonoThin LizzyJoseph Haydn

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Melody Maker, February 20, 1988

Jonh Wilde reviews The Courier: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack.


1988-02-20 Melody Maker page 33 clipping 01.jpg

Cover and page scan.
1988-02-20 Melody Maker cover.jpg 1988-02-20 Melody Maker page 33.jpg


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